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  • Rick Sparks

What does love look like?

WOODHAVEN – Fifty-three years ago, Pastor Jones sent people to plant a church in Woodhaven. The church developed a motto that we still use today saying “A Church Born in Love”. 


When I think of love the first and foremost thing that comes to my mind is our God and how much he loves us. His love is proven to us day after day. Salvation alone is pure proof of that love. 


Through the love that God has for us we can learn more about love every day. We are required to love him and serve him and are to love one another. John 15:17 says: “These things I command you, that ye love one another.”


There are many ways to show love. One example is on February 14th, many will buy candy, flowers, or go out for romantic dinners. While these are ways to show love, I think the greatest way to show love is to pray for others. Think of the disciples, of all the things they could have asked Jesus for, they asked him to teach them to pray. 


Romans 1:9 says: “For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers.”


Most times when we greet people with “How are you doing?”, so often people answer “I’m doing well” or something general like that, when sometimes that is not always the truth. People try to cover up what’s really going on when in return what they really need is prayer. We MUST take people to the Lord in prayer. Maybe, instead of saying, “How are you doing?”, we can ask, “Can I pray for you?”  You see, we have One who can help, so taking them to God in prayer is very important. 

Here’s a small story on how I know people are watching us as Christians and need God’s love. When I was in Trenton High School, I played football. One day we were scrimmaging Grosse Ille, and I made a tackle. During this tackle, I got a concussion. I started cussing everyone out and my friend knew immediately that something was wrong—they grabbed me and took me to the coach. They said “Coach, something’s wrong with Rick, he doesn’t talk like this!” That’s when I saw the team doctor and they realized that I had a concussion. The moral of this story is my friend saw that I had a need. They didn’t make fun of me, they didn’t let me keep rambling on, they took me to the coach for help.


Folks, people around us are hurting. We are not here to make fun of them, nor to talk about them, but to take them to the one who does or can help, Jesus. We can take our friends to Jesus for help just like my friends helped me. They saw a need in me during that moment, but we should be able to see the daily need in them. God’s love is an eternity of help, not just for one moment. If we love people like God’s Word commanded us to, we shall take them to him in prayer. God is love and prayer changes things! 



Rick Sparks has been blessed to be pastor of Woodhaven Baptist Church for almost 27 years. His wife, Debbie and he have 6 children, a son-in-law, 2 daughter-in-laws and soon another, and in the best part of life they have 6 grandchildren, 3 boys and 3 girls.


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